gre·​gar·​i·​ous | \ gri-ˈger-ē-əs How to pronounce gregarious (audio) \

Definition of gregarious

1a : tending to associate with others of one's kind : social gregarious animals
b : marked by or indicating a liking for companionship : sociable is friendly, outgoing, and gregarious
c : of or relating to a social group
2a of a plant : growing in a cluster or a colony
b : living in contiguous nests but not forming a true colony used especially of wasps and bees

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Other Words from gregarious

gregariously adverb
gregariousness noun

Did You Know?

When you're one of the herd, it's tough to avoid being social. The etymology of gregarious reflects the social nature of the flock; in fact, the word grew out of the Latin noun grex, meaning "herd" or "flock." When it first began appearing in English texts in the 17th century, "gregarious" was applied mainly to animals, but by the 18th century it was being used for social human beings as well. By the way, "grex" gave English a whole flock of other words too, including "egregious," "aggregate," "congregate," and "segregate."

Examples of gregarious in a Sentence

[J.P.] Morgan was attracted to bright, self-possessed women who met him on his own ground, felt at home in society, and shared his gregarious instincts and sybaritic tastes. — Jean Strouse, New Yorker, 29 Mar. 1999 … the gregarious trade unionist whose back-slapping mateyness helped make him Australia's most popular politician. Time, 3 Apr. 1989 As it is a night of many parties, the more social, the more gregarious, the more invited of the guests are wondering whether to go to Harley Street first, or whether to arrive there later, after sampling other offerings. — Margaret Drabble, Harper's, July 1987 She is outgoing and gregarious. a gregarious child who ran up to every person on the playground and wanted to be their friend
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Recent Examples on the Web Obloy and Kochmit are gregarious fellows who roll with the punches. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Recently opened Medina distillery shifts gears, making and giving away hand sanitizer," 24 Mar. 2020 But Malone proved to be a gregarious, full-throated performer Sunday night, eager to cut through murky aesthetics to convey tales of lost love and betrayal. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Post Malone emerges from haze to deliver winning performance in Indianapolis," 10 Feb. 2020 But why does the desert locust go gregarious, when the vast majority of grasshopper species remain solitarious? Matt Simon, Wired, "The Terrifying Science Behind the Locust Plagues of Africa," 5 Feb. 2020 The shooting occurred at the home of the fourth victim, Kou Xiong, 38, a gregarious sushi chef who loved hosting parties. NBC News, "6 arrested in killings of 4 men at California backyard football party," 31 Dec. 2019 The story centers on a gregarious late 20s-early 30s couple, Eric Glass and Toby Darling, whose gatherings foster lively conversations among a cross-section of gay men. Daryl H. Miller,, "What can gay men learn from their elders? To Matthew Lopez, that’s ‘The Inheritance’," 18 Nov. 2019 Even as a young woman my mother had always been a gallus thing: a chancer, gregarious, desirous of any shiny bauble. Douglas Stuart, The New Yorker, "Found Wanting," 6 Jan. 2020 Burly, husky-voiced and gregarious, Mr. Aiello was also a natural showman whose work as a bouncer at an improv comedy club provided his entree into acting. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Danny Aiello, actor who excelled as blue-collar heavies and hotheads, dies at 86," 13 Dec. 2019 In temperament, ideology and style on the campaign trail, the gregarious, gaffe-prone, relatively moderate Mr. Biden and the disciplined, democratic socialist Mr. Sanders could not be more different. New York Times, "Biden and Sanders Differ on Foreign Policy. They’re Happy to Tell You So.," 6 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gregarious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gregarious

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gregarious

Latin gregarius of a flock or herd, from greg-, grex flock, herd

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Time Traveler for gregarious

Time Traveler

The first known use of gregarious was in 1668

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Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gregarious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for gregarious


How to pronounce gregarious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gregarious

: enjoying the company of other people
biology : tending to live in groups


gre·​gar·​i·​ous | \ gri-ˈger-ē-əs How to pronounce gregarious (audio) \

Kids Definition of gregarious

1 : enjoying the company of other people
2 : tending to live in a flock, herd, or community rather than alone gregarious insects

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